Fighting insomnia, computerized diagnoses and running to help the hungry

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Having trouble sleeping? There might be an all-natural answer.
  • Having trouble sleeping? There might be an all-natural answer.

Having trouble sleeping?

The People’s Pharmacy reports this week that motion-sickness bands worn on the wrist may help even stubborn insomniacs drift off to la la land. The bands stimulate an “acupressure point called the Inner Gate that is said to alleviate anxiety and promote sleep.” Don’t want to shell out money to test the hypothesis? A Pharmacy reader suggests taping a dry kidney bean on the same spot.

Read more about ways to finally get some rest.

Computers and Doctors Better Together?
A fascinating article in The New Yorker by Siddhartha Mukherjee explores the use of artificial intelligence in diagnosis. Scientists are “teaching” machines — through a process called “deep learning” — to recognize and categorize diagnostic images.

“A dermatologist in full time practice…will see about two hundred thousand cases during her lifetime. The Stanford machine’s algorithm ingested nearly a hundred and thirty thousand cases in about three months.”

The potential power of machine diagnostics led one researcher to state, “They should stop training radiologists now.”

Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer prize for his book The Emperor of All Maladies, has a more nuanced take, noting that medicine involves not just identification of the problem, but also a process of cooperative problem-solving between doctor and patient; a process that may be helpfully augmented in the future by ever-wiser machines.

Hunger Run
No foolin'. April 1 is Saturday, and the weather is actually shaping up to look a lot like spring— the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and high near 60 degrees. A perfect day to go for a run, and feel good about helping the hungry while you are at it. Choose a 5 K or 10K at the second annual Hunger Run at Plante’s Ferry Park at 9 am. The event benefits Second Harvest and the Union Gospel Mission. Register online by 6 pm today for $35, or register in person the day of the race or at specified days and times at various packet pick up locations. See the Hunger Run website for details.